Perform cardio while bulking? Well, some folk says…
“You’re stupid if you do cardio exercise while bulking!”. Other says “It’s actually beneficial for muscle building…”.
It’s a widely debated activity that has people on both sides having totally opposite viewpoints.
So should it be part of your routine? Is it going to waste your whole bulking phase? Is it better? Will I attract the opposite sex by sweating on the treadmill?
All these questions are prevalent like the testosterone flowing through the gym. Well, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to make your own muscle gaining conclusions.
Should you do it?
There are two major things to look at. The benefits for build muscle, and the fact that it will harm your gains if you are under your calorie maintenance from doing cardio. We will start with…
1. The benefits
It will make basically every part of your cardiovascular system healthier and more efficient. In this case, your heart and lungs (probably why it’s called cardio).
So here is what I am talking about…
- It prevents disease
- Gain mass and increased energy
- Strengthens bones
- Helps digestion
- Gets you better sleep
- Gets rid of lactic acid
- Minimizes fat gains and possibly best of all…
- Makes your workout recovery time shorter.
Yes, it helps your muscles grow!
It’s pretty common for people to assume that cardio is just for getting fit and losing fat. But once the knowledge is gained on what else it’s good for, it’s easy to change things around to get the benefits you want while avoiding losing all the calories that you spent ¼ of the day eating.
2. Harming your gains from being under are calorie maintenance
For people that aren’t aware of what this means, it is when you are expending more calories than your daily maintenance. Turned around, a calorie surplus is when you don’t expend all the calories you consume, resulting in weight gain. Ok, back to it.
Although it’s all good and well to be getting overall health benefits from cardio, it is a stab in the hand to inadvertently “cutting” when you are in fact trying for bulking. That could mean spending months on end getting the opposite outcome to what you are trying to achieve. Not nice, is it?
This is much more common amongst the “hard gainers”. Now I hate saying those words, but it’s a fact that some people find it more difficult to pack on the pounds due to eating habits and/or metabolism.
If you find that you can’t keep on the weight easily, cardio is probably the worst thing you can do if your goal is to gain a substantial amount of muscle.
If done correctly (having a calorie surplus after you do cardio), then you will be well on your way to faster gains, a healthier body, and a better overall bulking phase.
Things to keep in mind
If you find that once you add cardio into your routine, you start to rid of fat loss gradually! Then simply eat extra food until you are back above the ‘green line’.
Keep protein high
It’s great if you are eating enough for a bulk. But if you aren’t getting in enough protein, it will seriously harm your gains. Because you won’t have enough for effective protein synthesis. To be safe, get 0.8-1g per pound of bodyweight. Your muscles will thank you later.
Beware of leg day
Cardio exercises that are focused in your legs, such as, running and cycling, may not be the best idea when you are doing an intense leg workout. It simply may be too much which could result in overworking. Which brings me to…
Don’t overdo it
Remember, performing cardio varies widely, so use it to benefit your bulking phase. You’re not trying to become the next best marathon runner, you’re trying to gain muscle. Running for 20 minutes at a medium pace a few times a week is enough to get all the benefits listed in the third paragraph.
All in all, cardio while bulking is subjective, so you have to really look at yourself and judge if it’s right for you. You never know, it may be just what you need to boost your results to the next level. So get out there, run around the block and give it a good thing.
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